UCI has twice been named the No. 1 university doing the most for the American dream by The New York Times. With programs like the Student Achievement Guided by Experience (SAGE) Scholars Program, it is easy to see why.
Through the generosity of corporate partners, alumni and friends, UCI’s SAGE Scholars Program provides many undergraduate students from underserved backgrounds with the tools to invest in their future.
“I felt like I was academically prepared – but not professionally prepared – to be able to tackle either graduate school or a career after graduation, and so I found out about the SAGE Scholars program,” says Abigail Llanos-Hernandez, a current senior and SAGE Scholar at UCI.
Through leadership training, career and graduate school planning, and access to internship and scholarship opportunities, SAGE Scholars are given the opportunity to succeed. One of those students was David Tong ’05, M.A.T. ’08, UCI alumnus and previous SAGE Scholar.
“Thinking back in terms of my own experiences, if I didn’t have a SAGE scholarship, if I didn’t have an internship opportunity, I don’t know where I’d be,” says Tong.
Graduates of this program are groomed for success, and 100 percent of SAGE Scholars move directly into either a career position or graduate school after graduation. Because of this, many SAGE alumni, like Tong, give back their time, talent and treasure to pave the way for other Anteaters.
“Donors here at UCI are giving back, and their support enables us to be able to focus on our academics, to be able to be successful and to ultimately put those dreams into reality,” says Llanos-Hernandez.
At a time when more than half of UCI’s undergraduates are the first in their families to go to college and more than 70 percent of all UCI students receive some form of financial aid, UCI’s SAGE Scholar Program is a testament to UCI’s unparalleled commitment to access and affordability.